The former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, has been declared winner of the Anambra Governorship Election by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The Returning Officer of the Anambra Governorship Election, Prof Florence Obi, announced the result on Wednesday morning at the INEC office in Awka, Anambra State.
“That Charles Chukwuma Soludo of APGA, having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected,” the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar said on Wednesday.
Soludo, who was the apex bank governor between 2004 and 2009, was declared winner after the November 6 election was declared inconclusive by INEC and after a supplementary election was held in the Ihiala Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday. He won 19 of the 21 local governments areas including Ihiala LGA.
Sixty one-year-old Soludo won with 112,229 votes beating Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party, who polled 53,807 votes, and Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress who got 43,285 votes. Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressive Party polled 21,261 votes came fourth.
Soludo’s walk to victory was paved with stony challenges including legal battles and intra-party squabbles but the Supreme Court in Abuja affirmed him as APGA governorship candidate. This was after the sacking of a former APGA candidate, Chukwuma Umeoji, by the court.
Umeoji, who is the current member of the House of Representatives representing Aguata Federal Constituency in Anambra State, was recently sacked by a court decision after his name had been listed by the Independent National Electoral Commission as APGA’s candidate.
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The court then ordered INEC to replace Umeoji with Soludo as the validly elected candidate of APGA for the governorship election.
Also in April 2021 during the build-up to the election, Soludo narrowly escaped death when gunmen unleashed terror on him and his security aides during a town hall meeting in his hometown in Isuofia in the Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra.
Three of his police orderlies were killed during the attack which he described as “senseless”. Soludo dedicated his victory to the three policemen in his acceptance speech on Wednesday.
Soludo is expected to be sworn into office next March after the expiration of the two-term tenure of the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano, who is also of the All Progressives Grand Alliance.